Would you invest in building a brand if you did not need to?
On one hand, brands are idyllic. They represent something tangible to be proud of. They have charm and often great names. The allure extends beyond that which is monetary, it is personal for the creator. On the other hand branding is quite expensive and we find charm albeit innate is costly to manifest. Betting on becoming a recognized name is a gamble hoping that your personality will match that of the audiences.
If brand development seems too long a way to travel, consider the business of match making instead which may not require much of a brand at all. You do need an answer to a question being asked during an online search. For example, a real estate agent might purchase paid search traffic of anyone who searches google for “hometown city apartments”. You buy those key words you’re going to get the traffic but you shortly thereafter must match the visitor to that which they came searching for.
Compared to building a recognized brand, matchmaking is the shorter route and can be executed in a well thought out pay per click campaign. That means you know something specific about your target audience, like they want to live in “hometown city apartments”. For a reasonable cost say $.30 - $2 dollars per click you would get your message directly in front of them. From there, the conversion may happen so fast that a visitor to your site won’t even notice your logo or font style.
Having everything ready on your landing page to turn that lead into a sale helps for sure. Intuitive user experience (ux) design can funnel users to a precise location with a specific objective in mind. If you have bought good traffic to your site and the language is direct about what problem you are solving, the conversion is likely to happen.
So where does the brand come in? When a lead starts to wonder, the brand brings them back. When hands are not so easily convinced, a brand captures the mind. Brands are more than just content and design, the memorable ones create a distinct customer experience. Their products or experience standout from the rest and reasonably so expect the users to pay a premium for the privilege. It’s lot’s of work but If you can connect with consumers on the brand level those buyers often become ambassadors pushing a brand even further. But, your team may not be built to leverage a brand strategy.
I’ve been hired to lead both branding and matchmaking initiatives and found matchmaking can be the more profitable of the two. In email marketing, I built brands that were almost disposable. There was little invested in defining why the brand was different from others. In fact I embraced the me too strategy developing content that followed the example set by other brands. Rather than investing in the brand I bought more traffic to a collection of generic landing pages. I built more relationships with advertisers to complete more matches and thus make more money. Brands such as HardTimeRelief.com and GoodNesting.com which are little less than a logo and a couple thousand dollars worth of content sent 24 million emails in one month to capture $50,000 in revenue. To complete at such volume requires a totally different skill set outside of branding.
Ask yourself these questions to see if you are building a brand or if your better equipped to be an efficient matchmaker.
Are you representing your own authentic voice?
Does every person on your team understand, and agree with, what the brand promises to consumers?
Lastly, will your team feel confident representing the brand and sharing their association to it with the world?
Answering “no” to any of these means you are already behind in brand building. But that does not mean you cannot be as successful matchmaking purchased data to advertisers.